Most people believe the success of the 49ers offense rests squarely on the shoulders of offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye. Although Raye does play a significant role in the success of the 49ers it is a man named Mike Johnson who is the lead character.
Who? Mike Johnson.
His name has not been mentioned much if at all in the articles detailing the Niners offense this season. However, he could be the most important cog in the machine.
Mike Johnson will be entering his first season as quarterback's coach for the San Francisco 49ers. While most people will focus their venom or praise for Singletary and Raye, it will be Johnson whose day to day coaching will make or break the 49ers offense. Johnson will take on the task of coaching a position that has struggled with inconsistency. A position that has not had a 3,000 yard passer since 2002 and has not sent a quarterback to the Pro Bowl since Jeff Garcia.
Johnson has managed to fly below the radar, but if he can get production out of this group he will be looking at an NFL head coaching job in the near future, which would say a lot about a man whose picture is not even available outside of the 49ers website.
It will be Johnson's job to establish a true starter from this bunch and make him a true asset to this team, not just a game manager. This should not be that difficult considering he squeezed 3000 plus passing yards out of Doug Flutie.
So the table is set for Mr. Irrelevant and he will probably remain anonymous for the remainder of the off season. However, as the season approaches Mr. Johnson will be hearing his name mentioned more and more for better or for worse.